Ospreys vs Sharks
The URC has become quite embarrassing for the South African teams as they have lost 7 out of the 8 matches so far. The Sharks have lost two and they have been their own worst enemy as they conceded huge leads very early in the matches. Playing catch up rugby is very difficult against the European teams who are excellent at game management. Sharks Coach Sean Everitt has reacted to those losses and has made wholesale changes to his team. Curwin Bosch has the paid for his poor form and is replaced by Anthony Volmink and there is also a start for Jeremy Ward and Marius Louw. Thomas Du Toit has been handed the captaincy. I feel this is a great move as Du Toit is way more experienced than Buthelezi. The backline of the Sharks looks better suited for attacking plays in this match and Ospreys will need to their defence to be on key.
TIP: The Ospreys play a very forward orientated game with a lot of kicking and rely on their forwards keeping the ball tight. Having said this they do have an international halfback pairing in Gareth Anscombe and Rhys Webb who are brilliant with ball in hand. The Sharks will be hoping that Volmink and the exciting Thaakir Abrahams can offer them that counter attacking options that was so badly missing in the first two matches. Ospreys are traditionally strong in the forwards and they will target a Sharks scrum that has underperformed for a long time. The Sharks have brought in Kerron van Vuuren and Ntuthuko Mchunu into the front row. Mchunu in particular is excellent with ball in hand but it is in the scrum that he will need to show his prowess. The bookies have the Ospreys as favourites and I’m also tipping them for the win. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.30, Playabets 1.24 and Sunbet 1.25
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Ospreys vs Sharks
- This is the first meeting between these sides.
Latest results for both teams
Ospreys beat Cardiff Blues 18-14 in their last match while the Sharks lost 35-24 to the Glasgow Warriors in their last match.
The confidence in the Sharks camp will be very low having lost three matches in a row if you include the Currie Cup final and the change in personnel could be the new energy this team needs. The Sharks have the young Boeta Chamberlain at 10 and no doubt the experienced Ospreys half back pair will look to put pressure on him and force him into mistakes. The role of veteran Ruan Pienaar will be crucial in helping the youngster with managing the game. Ospreys will look to their forwards to dominate the Sharks pack and they love the rolling maul. The Sharks will need to make certain their maul defence is excellent from the first whistle. I expect the Sharks to start this match much better but the experience of the Welsh team will win it for them in the second half. I predict a home win by less than 10 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Max Nagy, 14 Mat Protheroe, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Rhys Webb (c), 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Jac Morgan, 6 Will Griffiths, 5 Rhys Davies, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nicky Smith
15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Gerbrandt Grobler, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit (captain), 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Ospreys victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Sharks handicap :
The complete odds on the Sharks handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (+8.5) 1.90
Sunbet (+9.5) 1.82
Playabets (+9.5) 1.84
Predictions and Odds in details
The Sharks will be quick out the blocks and this should set up an exciting match. The class Ospreys have at halfback will be the major advantage over the Sharks. Anscombe may be returning from a long injury break but if he regains his past form then he will be pulling the strings. Webb at 9 is a player the Sharks will need to watch closely as he is deadly around the rucks and mauls. He is super-fast and has a great eye for the gap. The Sharks need players like Du Toit and Ruan Pienaar to stand up and guide this Sharks team. They have lacked a leader and hopefully these two international players can provide that spark they so desperately need. The bookies are offering punters poor return on the Ospreys outright win therefore I suggest the Sharks on the handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+8.5) 1.90, Sunbet (+9.5) 1.87 and Playabets (+9.5) 1.84
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.